Last week was a bit of a religious week for me. Firstly I had a trip to see the excellent York Mystery Plays. If you’d asked me previously if I wanted to spend three hours sat outside watching bible stories I’d have run a mile, but they were fantastic. It was a bit like a live ‘Where’s wally’ trying to spot where the Devil (aka John Stape) woud appear next.
If that wasn’t enough religion, I then read Perfect People by Peter James.
This is a stand alone novel rather than part of his Roy Grace series. Parent’s John and Naomi lost their first child to a genetic defect, so they go on a specialist cruise where they can pick the entire genetic make up of their child from its level of empathy through to eye colour – a so called ‘designer baby’. Obviously things don’t work out as planned and the story evolves into a mess of secret islands and religious nutters.
This was a slightly uncomfortable read I thought, regardless of a persons views on messing with Mother Nature. It was made all the more so when you realise that despite the extreme version portrayed in the novel the idea of a designer baby is not that far off.
Saying that it was quite a good book, the story was interesting, and putting the moral discussion to one side you felt that John and Naomi whilst rather naive were genuinely doing what they did for the best of intentions. Who wouldn’t want to try and make life easier for their children no matter what the cost?
The story was a bit far fetched, and the idea that anyone would pay a fortune to go on a baby making cruise seems pretty ridiculous to me but the story went along at a fast pace, and kept me guessing to the end. I felt this wasn’t as good as some of his Roy Grace novels, but certainly worth spending a wet afternoon on!